All the things you don’t need to feel guilty about – shutting up the mum guilt

All the things you don’t need to feel guilty about – shutting up the mum guilt

If you are a parent you will more than likely be familiar with the term ‘mum guilt’. As well as all the sleep deprivation, baby brain and the complete change of lifestyle we all experience when we have a child, us mums also get this positivity and self confidence sucking side effect of bringing a child into the world called mum guilt. This negative mindset sneaks in, loud and unwelcome, during your pregnancy, a time in a woman’s life that is often also full of some degree of anxiety, stress and worry. As your baby is happily cooking away in utero, a hard job for us mamas as it is, thoughts covered in guilt can begin to creep around our already hormone riddled brains. There’s a whole list of things that have the ability to make a pregnant woman feel like a rubbish mum before her baby has even been born: the food she is or isn’t eating, the amount of alcohol she does or doesn’t drink, the pregnancy yoga classes she’s not going to and the choices she makes on things like feeding, sleeping and what kind of nappies she’s going to use when her baby arrives.

Once baby finally does show up, feelings of mum guilt tend to ramp up a notch and we can be left feeling guilty about almost every parenting decision we make. The thing we all need to remember is, mum guilt isn’t speaking the truth – we are not bad mums, we are amazing mums trying our absolute best every day. Mum guilt is the manifestation of our completely unachievable  desire to be the ‘perfect mum’, mixed with any self confidence issues we are already experiencing in regard to our parenting abilities. I have been a mum now for almost four and a half years and I have wasted too much of that time feeling guilty and questioning the things i do and don’t do for my sons. Recently I have decided to have much more of a positive mental attitude, I want to think this way about all aspects of my life but, mostly, I want to be a more positive parent and that isn’t going to happen if I keep listening to the judgmental, hurtful voice of mum guilt. To help quash these pointless yet damaging thoughts I am spending more time focusing on all the things I actually do for my kids instead of dwelling on the things I don’t and it is really working to feed my positive mindset.

Shutting up the mum guilt

If you are a parent who too has lived under the reign of evil mum guilt for far too long, I am telling you right now it doesn’t need to be this way. Here is what you need to do, are you listening? Sit down and write a list titled ‘All the things I feel guilty about’, if you are anything like me it is going to be a lengthy list so make sure you have enough paper handy. Now, once you have done that, go back to your title ‘All the thing’s I feel guilty about’, scribble it out and write ‘All the thing’s I don’t need to feel guilty about’ in big, bold letters and underline the ‘don’t’ atleast three times. My health visitor once told me, when I was battling with post natal depression, that the fact that I was spending so much time worrying over these things only served as proof that I was in fact a great mum, not the rubbish one I thought. We only feel guilty because we want to be the best possible parent we can be for our kids and we just care about them SO damn much. All the things you feel guilty about, I can almost guarantee you don’t need to be worrying about them as much if even at all. Us mums worry about little things so much because we are trying to be that ‘perfect mum’ I mentioned earlier, the one who does not exist. Chances are, you are feeling guilty because you are doing some of the things you said you would NEVER do when you had kids, back when you were living a life sans baby and had not a single clue what raising a child is really like. No parent is perfect and sometimes we all do what we do to just make it through the day, and that is more than ok!


So, are you ready to take back control and help shut up that stupid mum guilt once and fall? Grab your notebook and your paper and write out your list, you may think it is counterproductive writing down all those things you are feeling guilty about but now that you, hopefully, understand that you don’t need to beat yourself up about them at all because you are simply a mum doing her BEST for the children that she LOVES, you can look at this list and see with fresh eyes that they aren’t actually worth your mental energy worrying over. I always like to practice what I preach, so here is my list of all the things I don’t need to feel guilty about..

All the things I don’t need to feel guilty about..

– Giving Alex a dummy
– Letting Leo watch TV in the morning
– Giving Alex something else to eat for lunch when he chucks my first attempt of a healthy balanced meal on the floor
– Letting Leo drink squash instead of water
– Checking emails on my phone instead of building yet another tower of bricks for Alex to knock down
– Telling Leo off when he’s been naughty
– Giving the kids a piece of fruit and then going and hiding in the kitchen so I can eat biscuits without having to share them
– Having a movie day on the sofa instead of taking the kids to the park
– Letting Leo play on his tablet while I get on with housework
– Not taking Alex to soft play/swimming as much as I think I should
– Not having the time and energy to do as much with Alex as I did with Leo when he was a toddler
– Getting post natal depression
– Not loving playing imagination games with Leo and finding playtime in general a bit boring
– Leo refusing to try new foods
– Alex refusing to try new foods
– Only going to the baby groups I like instead of taking Alex to them all
– Leaving Alex nap for half hour longer than he should so I can get blogging work done or just have some chill time
– Not remembering how old Alex was when he got his first tooth
– Not having half as many pictures of Alex printed as we do of Leo
– Spending approximately £3 a week on myself so I can grab a coffee before I take Alex to rhyme time
– Picking a kids film that I can actually tolerate instead of watching the rubbish one Leo wants when we spend a Saturday morning watching a film together
– Feeling pissed off when the baby wakes up for hours in the night
– Feeling frustrated at Leo when he doesn’t do as he is told
– Not taking the boys off to do big expensive days out every weekend
– All of Alex’s clothes being hand me downs
– Arriving 5 minutes late to pick Leo up from school because I could’t find a parking space
– Alex having to use the pram we have had for almost five years that is only just clinging on to life
– Letting Leo watch YouTube on my phone when we are out and I need him to be quiet for 10 minutes
– Sometimes skipping pages in stories when I have to read them ten times in a row
– Saying no to Leo when he asks for the impossible
– Not always knowing what it is Alex wants or needs when he is crying
– Not making many school mum friends so I have no one to arrange play dates with for Leo
– Craving child free time sometimes
– Not having enough money to buy them all the toys they want

and most importantly

– wasting precious time with them feeling guilty instead of just living in the moment with them.

I told you it was a long list! I am trying my absolute best to stop feeling guilty about all of this stuff, a lot of which is really insignificant and unimportant, in the grand scheme of things. I love my boys and I know they love me too. They don’t love that perfect mum I’ve imagined, they don’t love SuperMum, they love ME. All these things I have been worrying about, my kids more than likely couldn’t give a crap about. My boys prefer me when I am happy, I prefer me when I am happy. I finally understand that if I am to be really happy as a parent, I need to turn the volume down on that negative voice in my head, take a look at my kids smiling faces and realise that, actually, I am doing a pretty amazing job. I am raising tiny humans, and I may not be perfect but I am their loving mum and, to them, that’s all they really need.

Do you suffer from a horrible inner voice and mum guilt? Do you feel guilty about any of the same things as me? Why don’t you try writing them all down, hopefully it will help you see that you need to stop beating yourself up and instead focus on all the amazing things you are doing every single day for your family.

If you enjoyed this post you might also like to read

Why we all need to be more Elsa – mama on a mission to become a more positive parent 

14 things you can do to become a happier and more positive mum 

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The Grownup, Gillian Flynn – A book review

The Grownup, Gillian Flynn – A book review

Over the past couple of years Gillian Flynn has become my favourite author, ever. I love her writing style, the untrustworthy characters she creates and her ability to keep her readers guessing before shocking us all with plot twists that no one saw coming. When I picked up The Grownup in the bookshop and realised it was less than 70 pages long, I was slightly concerned Flynn was not going to be able to deliver her trademark dramatic twists and turns in so few words. How very wrong I was…

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The highs and lows from a year of blogging

It has been a whole year since I sat down with my tablet, on yet another lonely afternoon while Leo was sleeping away the hours, and set up this very blog. Little did I know back then where I would be in a years time. I had no idea that something that was just meant to fill the hour or two in the afternoon while Leo had his nap would become such a big part of my life.

From the moment I hit publish on my first ever post, I caught the blogging bug. I love having a place to document Leo’s little life and all the things we do as a family. My blog has been a great way for me to seek parenting advice as well as vent and offload when Leo has been going through yet another difficult phase or something has been getting me down

I have learnt so so much in my first year of blogging. There is a lot more to running a blog than just writing posts and I feel like I am learning new things all the time. Although my blog is now a whole year old, I still feel like a newbie sometimes. I may still feel like I am finding my feet in this busy area of the world wide web but I am enjoying being a blogger more than I could ever have imagined. 
To commemorate my virtual baby Naptime Natter’s first year in the blogosphere but to also show bloggers just starting out what it is really like in the early days, here are my highs and lows from one year of blogging..
The highs
People not only reading but also commenting on my posts. 
Finding a space to grow and nurture my love for writing.
Creating posts full of happy memories I can share with Leo when he is older.
Receiving supportive comments from lovely readers when I have been going through difficult times.
Having people comment on my posts saying they know exactly how I feel and thanking me for showing them they are not alone.
Never receiving a negative/hurtful comment on any of my posts (so far!).
I am passionate about women receiving honest advice and support about breastfeeding and my open letter to new breastfeeding mums has had lots of comments and is the most read post on my blog.
Bagging my first ever sponsored post in November and earning my first bit of cash from blogging.
Having a place to store all my family photos but also have the days out written up alongside them, never to be forgotten.
Interacting with lots of lovely bloggers on Twitter.
Discovering and reading lots of other blogs and finding out more about the wonderful people who write them.
Having lots of people agree with my opinions on breastfeeding in baby changing facilities. 
Developing basic HTML knowledge and other techy stuff I couldn’t do before.
Being given a reason to explore and try to improve my photography skills.
Having my content shared by others on Twitter/Facebook etc.
The lows (because nothing is perfect)
Having to blog using my phone/tablet for the first 6 months of blogging as I didn’t have a laptop.
My blogger account is missing some vital bit of code so I am unable to use shareaholic, add pinnable image code or feature recommended reading at the bottom of my posts (this is so frustrating).
Struggling with low page views in the early days.
Blogger envy – it’s a real thing.
Feeling like no one really ‘got me’ for a while.
Wondering why everyone else was getting sponsored posts and I wasn’t.
Very slow growth of Twitter followers.
Finding it difficult to find the time get everything done.
The never ending blog to do list.
PR companies contacting me and offering me work only to ignore me when I emailed them back.
Spending a long time on a post and it receiving no comments.
Seeing newer bloggers than me getting amazing stats/opportunities and wondering what I was doing wrong.
Having to take all my photos on my phone as my camera is broken.
Not being able to afford to go self hosted.
Being restricted by the many limitations of a blogger blog.
Feeling like I haven’t found my ‘tribe’ yet.
Reaching out for blogging help/advice on Twitter and no one replied.
Regretting my choice of blog name.

And some more highs (because you should always end on a positive note)
Being a featured blogger on pretty much all of the linkies I join in with.
Having brands approach me and offer me sponsored work.
Trespass asking me to review something for them.
Putting myself out there and asking brands if they want to collaborate.
Reaching over 1000 followers on Twitter.
Co hosting one of my favourite linkies with one of my favourite bloggers.
Receiving really positive feedback on my first ever vlog.
Writing monthly Leo updates for us to look back on as he grows.
Seeing the same people coming back and reading my new posts every week.
The moment I realised blogging is supposed to be fun and started paying less attention to my stats.
Nearly making my husband cry when he read this post about us moving away from Swansea (he’s a tough nut to crack as well!).
Feeling like I have finally found a hobby I love and might actually be good at.
Realising I am by no means the only parent out there who finds this whole raising a child thing difficult. For every shiny advert of a mum changing her baby’s nappy with ease there is a #pblogger writing about the time their baby ran off mid change, fell off the changing table or ate it’s own poo. 
The best thing about blogging is reading other parents real life stories and discovering you are not the only one who is winging it, not even close.

Plans for year 2…
* I would love to be able to find some spare cash and go self hosted, I am not sure how much longer I can keep dealing with all the problems Blogger keeps throwing at me.
* Continue to try and grow my Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest following.
* Keep reaching out to brands and hopefully get some more sponsored posts/reviews lined up.
* Rename my blog and have a bit of a blog rebrand/make over.
* If going self hosted is still not likely then invest in a Blogger theme.
* Start up a mailing list and create a weekly newsletter.
* Keep coming up with interesting content but don’t be afraid to write posts just for me as well.
* Vlog more often and try and grown my confidence as well as YouTube subscribers.
* Keep interacting and chatting to other bloggers.
* Grow some balls and go to a blogging conference.
Wow, this post turned out to be an epically long one! Well, it has been an eventful first year and I didn’t want to miss anything out. 
I just want to say thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read, share and comment on my blog over this past year. It really means so much to me that people read my posts and seem to be interested in what I have to say. I really appreciate everything you readers do for me and if it weren’t for you reading my posts  I would just be a crazy person sat writing to myself, so thank you :).
Have you recently had a blog birthday too? How did you find your first year of blogging? Maybe you are new to this, how are you finding your blogging experience so far? I would love to know. 
This post is linked to..

My Random Musings

Cuddle Fairy

Diary of an Imperfect Mum: Family Fun Linky
A Cornish Mum

Pink Pear Bear

Reflections From Me

6 months in Hampshire

It has been a whole six months since we moved to Hampshire. That is half a year since we said goodbye to Swansea and headed across the border, walking away from our old life and towards something new and exciting.

If I am honest, I still don’t feel settled here. I miss my friends and miss my parents only being 90 minutes away up the road. I miss the beach and the toddler groups Leo and I used to go to. I even miss my bar maid job in the theatre and I never thought I would ever say that.

Life here is different to what we have been used to. Oli is working longer hours, his job is stressful and even when he is home his mind is often still in work. All things we were expecting when he got a job as a care home manager, but nothing can quite prepare you for how that added responsibility at work can impact on your family life. Living in a bungalow around the back of Oli’s work has often added to the feeling that he is never off call. Staff come tapping on the door all hours of the day and Oli disappears to sort out something at work, this happens on the weekends too. Once we are out of this house and in a place that actually feels like home I am hoping I might start to feel a bit more content here.

I also can’t get used to having no money I can call my own, my job in Swansea wasn’t amazing but at least I had one. Settling back in to being a full time stay at home Mum has been easy, although I often still crave those few child free evenings a week I used to spend at work. I did spend the first few months here applying for jobs but there are only so many rejection emails you can get before you need to take a break and scrape your self esteem back up off the floor.

I am finding it difficult to make friends too, this makes me feel miserable and a bit pathetic. There are a few mums I chat to at various toddler groups but they are more acquaintances than actual mates. Six whole months and not one person has suggested we go for coffee or take the kids to soft play or something. I am not going to get too upset about it, I do have lots of friends, they are just scattered all over the country and I don’t see them very often. I am sure I will meet some lovely people here, I just need put myself out there a bit more I guess.

It has not all been doom and gloom for the past half a year though. I have loved exploring our new area with Leo and Oli. We have been on lots of days out and made lots of fun memories exploring new and exciting places. Ignoring the lack of money, friends and general contentment, life in Hampshire isn’t so bad. With Spring and the promise of sunny weather just around the corner, who knows what we will be up to over the next half of our first year in Hampshire.

Here are some of the things we have been up to since we moved in September. These are the happy memories and the positives to living here I am going to force myself to remember everytime my heart pines for the life I loved so much in Swansea.

We have had lots of fun exploring all the local woods and forests..

We have enjoyed several Welly Walks around the beautiful New Forest

Family have come to stay and we always take them on the train for a browse around the impressive shopping centre in Southampton..

We have been on adventures to exciting castles in Basingstoke and Titchfield

There was that lovely walk we went on along Basingstoke canal..
We found our new favourite place when we spent the day at Bournemouth beach..
We have been able to spend time with and get to know family we rarely got to see when we lived in Wales..
And, of course, we have spent lots of lazy days being silly, playing games, watching films and cuddling in this funny old building we now call home..
We may be living in England now, but we will always be Welsh..
Have you recently moved? Are you also struggling to feel at home in your new town? I look forward to discovering what the next six months hold and hopefully as the months go by I will start to feel happier and more at home here.

This post is linked to..

My Random Musings

Cuddle Fairy

Diary of an Imperfect Mum: Family Fun Linky
A Cornish Mum

Pink Pear Bear

Reflections From Me

Vlogging with my toddler – 2 years 7 months update

It is time for another Leo update. I don’t know how these months keep passing by so quickly. Time really needs to slow down a bit otherwise Leo will be off at university and I will be an old lady before I know it!

A few weeks ago I decided to start vlogging and so far I have only published one video. I thought it would make a nice change to do Leo’s monthly update in vlog form, featuring the boy himself and it gives me a good excuse to up my vlogging game,

I love writing my monthly Leo updates as it is a way of recording and remembering everything we have been up to and sharing any milestones he has reached during the month. Although writing everything down is a good way to cherish the memories, words can never truly capture what someone is really like. Video is the perfect way to make sure I never forget the sound of Leo’s cute little voice or his high pitched giggle, his little facial expressions and mannerisms are all there for me to see and look back on. When he is a grumpy teenager I can show him these videos, he will be embarrassed probably but they will show that he was a little cutie (once upon a time!). 

Vlogging with Leo was fun and he really enjoyed showing off for the camera. I wouldn’t recommend it if you want to sit and chat without any distractions though. I found it very hard to concentrate by the end!
So here is Leo’s 2 year and 7 month update and his YouTube debut. I hope you enjoy watching.

Do you like to keep regular updates on your little ones development? How do you think Leo did on his first ever vlog? He got a bit bored by the end but I think he enjoyed being in front of the camera, he has definitely inherited his Daddy’s confidence.

This post is linked to..

A Cornish Mum

Cuddle Fairy


Diary of an Imperfect Mum: Family Fun Linky

Pink Pear Bear

Reflections From Me

Leo update – 2 years 6 months

Today my baby boy turns 2 and a half. I know I probably say this every month but, seriously, where is the time going? Before I know it he will be starting school, learning to drive, moving out and all the little things that happen in between. As Leo is now 30 months I thought I would do this months update a little differently. Being a half birthday after all, I have decided to list 30 facts for 30 months, to make this monthly update a little more special. I am going to note down all of Leo’s little ways as, despite the tantrums, this is such a fun and lovely age and I don’t want to forget a second of it.

Happy half birthday Leo, in another six months you’ll be three – ahh! This is what you are like now you are 2 and a half..

30 facts for 30 months..
1. You are obsessed with Room on the broom.
2, If I let you, you would watch Thomas the Tank all day.
3. Every morning you have to have Weetabix or Chocolate Hoops for breakfast, otherwise there are tears.
4. Your minion wellies are your favourite shoes.
5. You love to sing Old Mcdonald had a Farm in a funny, deep voice.
6. Biscuits are your favourite thing ever.
7. Puddles make you happy.
8. Every night I have to read you 3 stories before you will settle down to sleep. You always ask for more.
9. The swings at the park terrify you, but you love the slide.
10. When you want me to take a photo of us both you ask can we ‘go in the phone’.
11. You call squash ‘purple’ and refuse to drink plain water.
12. You can be nasty to Jessy the kitten sometimes.
13. When I get you dressed you insist on every item of clothing being put on your feet first – lots of your T-shirts are stretched.
14. When you cuddle me you make really cute little ‘aww’ sounds.
15. If I try to get you out of the bath you splash around shouting ‘I swimming!’.
16. You don’t actually like it when we go swimming.
17. You prefer to take your toys apart than actually play with them.
18. Daddy has invented so many silly games with you, there are too many to list but you love them all.
19. You call colouring in ‘cull-a-lin’. It’s very cute.
20. Play Doh is your favourite crafty thing to do.
21. Whenever you give me a kiss you always say ‘kiss’ first – again, very cute.
22. You have horrible tantrums sometimes that make me want to cry,
23. I have to drive/push you around in the pram for at least 20 minutes every single day for you to go for a nap.
24. You talk about your winky too much!
25. You talk about your family a lot, I think you miss then since we’ve moved.
26. Exploring the woods or the beach is when you are happiest.
27. You are a chocoholic, you get that from me.
28. People are starting to say you look more like me, since you were tiny you have always been a mini version of Daddy,.
29. Raw carrots are one of your favourite foods but you won’t touch them if they are cooked or mashed.
30. You are the most adorable, amazing, perfect little boy and me and Daddy love you loads.
Photos of Leo at 2 years 6 months..
My not so baby boy is growing and changing so much, I just love watching his little personality shine. Do you like to keep monthly updates of your little ones? Has your child reached any milestones this month or explored somewhere new? I would love to know 🙂

This post is linked to..


A parenting epiphany while feeding the ducks

Leo and  I had a lovely morning on Monday. Instead of wasting the morning away just pottering around in the house, I decided it would be nice for us to go feed the ducks at the local lake. It was during our trip to the lake that I had an epiphany, but I’ll tell you more about that later..

Going to feed the ducks without Oli is a big deal for me. If you don’t know this about me already, I am terrified of birds. Not cute little duckys but birds that fly around in big groups squawking, flapping and just being generally terrifying. I am not sure what the phobia is called but whatever it is, I totally have it. 
At least Leo hasn’t inherited my bird phobia!
Anyway, we got to the lake, Leo ate most of the bread fed the ducks, a swarm of gulls arrived and I chucked the last of the bread in the bin. The binning of the bread was the result of actual fear that the birds would come swooping down, steal the bread and maybe peck us to death in the process. 
As you can probably guess, the Spiderman shoes are now ruined!
Following the traumatic duck feeding experience, Leo and I had a wonder through the woods, chucked sticks in the lake and squelched around in bogs (I forgot Leo’s wellies I might add, disaster!). It was while Leo was ‘walking the plank’ along a fallen tree that I had my epiphany. The realisation was so strong I almost forgot to support my 2 year old on his journey across ‘the plank’.
Walking the plank..
My epiphany was this..
I don’t do this enough. I have stopped enjoying time outside, just me and Leo.

When we lived in Swansea, I used to take Leo out all the time. We would go to the beach, explore local woods and run through the grass in all the different parks. We don’t do that any more. On the weekends we do stuff as a family but since moving to Hampshire, Leo and I are spending much less time in the great outdoors. 
This is partly because I just don’t know what to do here. There are beaches close by (ish) but not right on our doorstep like before. I hate driving alone on the motorway and it feels like you can’t go anywhere in the South without being forced down a slip road and onto the m27. 
He doesn’t ever walk, he runs.
As soon as I realised this I felt so guilty. Leo must miss it too. All that outdoor space, the freedom, the happier Mum? Whenever we go out now it is only really to baby groups or soft play. I am not my best when we are at these places. I am on edge, worried Leo is going to have a tantrum, stressing that some bigger kids are going to push him over, trying to stay calm while solving some kind of toddler conflict. It is different when we are outside, just exploring and running around. I feel so much more relaxed just walking around amongst the trees, watching my boy running around and just spending some stress free time together. 
Throwing sticks in water, best game ever?
Now I have realised we are no longer making the most of the amazing world around us, I am going to start getting out more and I am going to try and find more places for Leo and I to explore. Instead of pining for the adventures we used to have in Swansea, I am going to start discovering new fun things for us to do here in Hampshire. If that means a scary trip down the always busy motorway on my own, then so be it. Just look at Leo’s little face, so full of wonder and curiosity. My boy loves to explore the great outdoors and who am I to deny him that?
He reminds me of a bird here. A cute one though, not a scary horrible one.
Do you spend much one and one time exploring the great outdoors with your little one? Or do you keep the exploring for when you have your other half there too? What about the bird fear thing, does anyone else out there have that too or is it just me?
                                                         WHATEVER THE WEATHER LIFE UNEXPECTED
Cuddle Fairy

Wayfair #BlogItForward – Random acts of kindness

Last month you may have seen lots of people blogging about #BlogItForward. Blog it forward is a challenge set by Wayfair where us bloggers write about our good deeds and in return Wayfair donate £50 to Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for humanity is a great cause, it is a charity that helps the poorest of people build their own homes, giving them somewhere they to live and be safe.
I thought the #BlogItForward challenge ended in December and that I had missed my chance to join in but a little email popped up in my inbox this week asking me if I wanted to get involved. I obviously responded saying yes and today I have been trying to give back, be a bit kinder and smile a little brighter at strangers who passed me by. A small act of kindness can mean so much and today has made me want to give back even more, whenever I can. The #BlogItForward challenge finishes on 31st January so there it still time people, every post featuring the badge gets a £50 donation from Wayfair for Habitat for Humanity, how amazing is that?
So, this is what I have been doing today to make others smile…
1. Bake something…
Oli is the manager of a residential care home for the elderly. Many of the residents there have dementia and life can sometimes be difficult and confusing for them. I know a biscuit can’t make their health problems go away but a little sweet treat will hopefully make them happy, even if only for a little while. I made enough for the staff as well. being a carer is a very demanding, difficult and sometimes unappreciated job, everyone does a fantastic job and they have to put up with Oli as a boss so, well, they definitely deserve a treat for that too.

2. Help a stranger…
On my way around Asda today, while I was buying ingredients for my biscuits I chucked an extra pack of baby wipes in to the trolley. On our way out I popped them into the baby change, just in case some one needs them. I really appreciate when shops/cafes put baby wipes or nappies in their baby change rooms but, unfortunately, not many places do. On the weekend Oli ended up having to clean Leo up using toilet paper (harder than it sounds) because we ran out of wipes. Hopefully, these will be found by a Mum who needs them, there’s nothing worse that having a baby with a dirty nappy and you realise you have left the wipes at home. 
3. Be kind..
According to my lovely husband, I suffer from what is commonly known as resting Bitch face. I thought I was quite a smiley person but apparently I always look grumpy! Today I have been making more of an effort to smile at passers by, shop assistants and people who have let me pull out while I have been out in the car. Earlier, while taking Leo out for his nap in the pram I crossed the road so another lady and her pram didn’t have to worry about getting stuck trying to get past me, we both had pretty massive prams. Simple little things that I hope made someone feel happy or made their day a little bit easier. I always try to be kind to others, even strangers, but there is always more we could all be doing.
My #BlogItForward nominees are..
Chloe from lifeunexpected
Franca from amomentwithfranca 
Come on girls, it is time to give back, share with us your random acts of kindness and Wayfair will make their donations to Habitats for Humanity. Don’t forget to include the badge and nominate #BlogItForward challenge to two (or more if you want!) other bloggers.
Being kind is easy, we should all do it every single day.
<a href=””><img src=”” width=”600″ height=”220″ alt=”#blogitforward”/></a>

The house that was our home

Last month I took a break from my blog to focus all my time and energy on moving house. Well not only moving house but on completely relocating across the boarder and moving down to the South of England.

Home sweet home.
When we first decided on the move I knew it was going to be difficult to leave the home and life we had built in Swansea behind but I never realised quite how emotional the whole process would be. I understood that I was going to have to say goodbye to people and places I loved, to the city where Oli and I got married and where Leo was born. However, none of these things were as difficult as closing all the doors of our little semi detached house for the final time and posting the keys through the letter box. 
To anyone else it was just a building but to me it was much more than just a load of bricks.
I was leaving behind a kitchen where many meals were lovingly prepared by my husband and more stressfully prepared by myself. A place where I rekindled my love of baking and Leo and I first baked together. The room where many an argument was had but them resolved over a cup of tea and a hug. The central hub of the house, always buzzing with activity. Singing, cleaning, cooking and dancing, this now empty room has seen it all.
Countless hours have been spent in this living room. This is the room where Leo had his first ever bath and spent most of his early days feeding while we snuggled on the sofa or sleeping in his bouncy chair. Where he learnt to roll over, crawl, walk and talk. It is the room where Oli and I would cuddle up after a busy day and where we first watched our now favourite TV shows for the first time. Probably too many take aways have been eaten in this room and definitely too much chocolate. This is where Oli and I have attempted to solve all of the worlds problems, talking late in to the evening. Now nothing but a room with a fireplace waiting for another family to bring it back to life.
I have had to say goodbye to the place where so many meals were shared, with just the 3 of us but also with family and friends.  This dining room is where Leo had his first taste of solid food and then in the months that followed proceeded to cover the floor and walls with it. In more recent times this room has been the home of several temper tantrums and mealtime battles and negotiations to get Leo to eat his tea. This floor has been swept more times than I care to recall, usually about a hundred times a day. A place for crafts as well as eating and also a place for writing, when the table was clear that is. Only four dining room chairs are left from our time there.
The bathroom was my sanctuary, a place I would escape to after a long day. So many books have been started and finished in this room, often read late in to the evening with the smell of scented candles in the air. A quiet place for me but a noisy, exciting place for Leo. A water baby from the start, Leo loved his baths and this now dry floor was soaked every single evening, later littered with towels to disguise the mess. I have so many memories of baby Leo playing in this bath and more recent ones of him singing and giggling at his Daddy.
The box room or the multi purpose room. It started off a room for music, a piano and two guitars were about all that it could accommodate. Oli and I played away the hours, attempting to learn new songs and jam together. It was not long before this room became a nursery, the room where at 6 months old Leo spent his first night alone. Animal fairy lights once draped themselves across the window while a cot, chair and changing table were tightly squeezed in. Later this became a place for guests to stay, a room with a bed, before returning to it’s original name and during the move became a room full of boxes.
The room Leo will miss the most, his first big boy bedroom. The room where he played happily with his toys, ran around in circles at bedtime and sometimes woke wanting cuddles in the night. Originally a room for guests but guests were not regular enough for our son to need to stay in the small room. A room were many nights where spent rocking a crying baby back to sleep and many mornings were spent playing on the floor and reading books. Now empty and waiting to hear the sound of another childs laughter.
Saying goodbye to this room was the most difficult of all. The room I shared with my husband. The home to so many memories. Sleepy chats in the mornings, more serious conversations in the evenings. A place where we could be together, where plans were made for the future, tears were shed and romantic moments were shared. A room where Leo spent his first 6 months sleeping and where I breastfed him all through the night. The place for big family cuddles in bed and silly games. A room I once shared with my boyfriend who one day became my husband. I have never been as reluctant to close a door as I was the day we handed our keys in.
Displaying our mixed emotions perfectly!

I know we are going to make so many amazing memories in our new home but at the moment it doesn’t feel like a home, it’s just this place we live in with our stuff. Number 12 was our home and it was so sad to say goodbye to the place where we became a family.

I will cherish every single memory I have from living in that house but now it is time to move on and stop looking at the new house as just a building, start making some memories and really make this place our new home.
Have you recently moved house? How did you feel leaving your old home? I would love to know if you found it as emotional as me.
Mami 2 Five


Film review: Trainwreck

Last night my amazing Nan looked after Leo so Oli and I could go out for the evening. When faced with a whole evening to ourselves, my husband and I are not ones to head out for food to a fancy restaurant or go out for drinks in some flashy bar. If we have a baby free night then there is only one place we are going and that is to the cinema.

We usually end up watching a film we are both looking forward to, so it is not very often just one of us chooses the film. Last night we went to watch Trainwreck, a film that is much closer to the romantic comedy than it is to the action packed blockbuster. It was totally my choice but I am pleased to say that although it’s plot was essentially just another love story, Oli laughed a long just as much as me.

Image courtesy of

Trainwreck is about magazine writer Amy (Amy Schumer) who, as a child, took the warning words from her father that ‘monogamy is not realistic’ to heart. As an adult, Amy is career driven, promiscuous and in her own words ‘a very sexual person’. She seems to be enjoying her carefree lifestyle and ridicules all the people around her who are in happy relationships, most of all her younger sister Kim.

However, everything changes when Amy is forced to interview and write an article about sports doctor and surgeon, Aaron Connors (Bill Hader). Although Amy was not the one to pitch the article, her pushy, bitchy boss forces her into it, her logic being Amy’s hatred for sport would make for an edgier article. Things start to change for Amy as she and Aaron start to fall for each other. It is not all easy for them though and you are left wondering until the very end if poor old Amy will ever find true love.

If you want to have a good laugh but also get drawn in to a great plot with characters you can relate to, then Trainwreck is definitely the film for you. I have not seen Amy Schumer in anything before, I was pleasantly surprised at how good she was. She plays Amy brilliantly, her jokes funny and perfectly timed. The film starts strong with a hilarious scene where we see young Amy and Kim being grilled by their cheating, about to be divorced father, as he compares Kim’s doll to his wife, ‘how would you feel if I told you that you can only play with that one doll..forever?’. The jokes keep coming as we meet Amy and she gives us a glimpse into her promiscuous lifestyle, be prepared for lots of cringe inducing sex scenes that are also laugh your pants off funny.

Just as Schumer makes an excellent leading lady, Bill Hader surprised me and was interesting as well as funny in his role as love interest Aaron. It was nice to see Hader in a leading role and he and Schumer work really well together on screen. Trainwreck starts to lose it’s way slightly in the middle when things take a bit of a more serious turn. The jokes become few and far between and unless you are up to date on all your American sports players, some of the jokes may go whizzing over your head like a basketball thrown by LeBron James, he’s in it by the way. Fear not, I did not stay bored for long and as the film started to wrap up I found myself laughing again and during the final scene I could not stop smiling. Schumer, girl, you have got some moves.

There has not been a film since Bridesmaids that has made me laugh this much. If you are a fan of the 2011 Kristen Wiig chick flick then I am pretty confident you well love this film too. Both films are directed by Judd Aptow and have the same kind of feel, a funny girl prone to self destructive behaviour falls in love – what’s not to like?

I loved this film and inspired by Amy’s party antics, Oli and I headed to the pub after. It is not very often we have a baby sitter, we don’t all have the luxury of drinking champagne in the morning like a certain Amy.

Rating: * * * *  

Planning a minion birthday party

Leo is 2! My baby boy is growing so fast, before I know it he will be kitted out in a cute little uniform and be starting school. Let’s not talk about that now though or I might start crying.

To celebrate my not so little man’s birthday we threw him a minion themed birthday party. I toyed with the idea of a Gruffalo or Peppa Pig theme but Leo has become obsessed with master criminal Gru’s little yellow friends. When I sat and really thought about it, it was clear only minions would do.

The birthday boy.

Once the minion theme was chosen, it was time to get planning. As we all know money does not grow on trees, unfortunately, so I did not go completely crazy buying things for Leo’s party.

I turned to Pinterest to find some minion party inspiration. I found loads of amazing ideas, I ended up only using a couple recipes due to my lack of time/money but if you want some minion/Gruffalo or Peppa inspiration then check out my party ideas board.

Although I love the idea of homemade party tableware and bunting I just didn’t have the time last week to get anything like that done. Luckily for me, minions are everywhere at the minute thanks to the summer release of their very own feature length film. I did not have to delve too far into the Internet to find hundreds of websites selling minion party packs. I bought this pack from party pieces for £13, it includes enough plates and cups for 8 people as well as a tablecloth, napkins, a banner and balloons. Leo now has the table cloth on his little table at home, no more scrubbing Weetabix off wood for me..yay! This pack had everything we needed but larger packs are available for bigger parties. Leo loved all the balloons and seemed very happy that minions had taken over my parents house for the day.


The thing I was most excited about was creating minion themed food. Baking is a big hobby of mine so I knew straight away I would be making Leo’s birthday cake. I went for a classic Victoria sponge and created the minion face on top using yellow, Blue and black ready to roll fondant icing. I used marshmallows for the eyes with piped black buttetcream icing for the mouth and hair. Leo was very pleased with it, his little face lighting up when we brought it out with a chorus of happy birthday.

Leo’s birthday cake.

As well as the birthday cake I made lots of little cupcakes with yellow buttetcream icing and mini marshmallow eyes.  My Dad and my Nan made a couple dozen biscuits decorated with minion character rice paper. We bought a couple packs of minion Haribo as well from W H Smith’s, sweets overload! For a healthier minion food option I bought a large punnet of blueberries and pineapple chunks and mixed them up in a bowl, these went down better than I had expected.

These took ages but went down a treat.

As for party games, there are loads of minion activities you could do: a minion pinata, make your own minion face balloons, minion face painting. There are loads of ideas of pinterest, oh how I love that app! Leo is still a bit young to fully understand games and he is not a fan of crafts so he just played with his new toys, ran around with his cousins and when they were all tired it was time to watch his new mini minion movies DVD, of course!

Cousin cuddles on the sofa. 
As far as I can tell Leo loved his birthday and was very  happy to have a house overrun with minion things for the day. 2nd minion birthday party = success!

Happy birthday Leo!

Has your little one had a birthday recently? Did you throw them a themed birthday party?

Running in Lavender

A week of smiles #6

I have had such a busy week! Sometimes life as a stay at home mum, miles away from family and close friends can be really horrible and lonely. This week has been the complete opposite, me and Leo have been spending time with other people pretty much every day, yay.

I have also been busy on the blogging front and have written 4 posts this week, 5 including this one. Go me! I have been so happy this week it’s going to be tough to narrow my list down to 10.

10 things that made me smile this week..

1. Cwtching on the sofa watching Home with Leo.

2. Leo had 2 play dates with 2 diferent friends from play group and I got to catch up with my lovely mum friends.

3. Spending the day at my Aunt’s house with my nan and cousins I haven’t seen in years.

4. Watching Great British Bake Off with Oli while eating salted caramel cake.

5. Having an evening to myself to just chill out and have some me time while Oli went out for a meal with work friends.

6. A trip to the park and tea at our local pub.

7. Leo laughing hysterically at WussyWat.

8. Taking Leo to soft play and to the swimming pool.

9. Watching Minions in the cinema and Leo sat through it all.

10. Spending all of this afternoon just playing and messing around with my beautiful son.

What has made you smile this week?

Tales from the potty: Chapter 2

Spotting the signs.

It has been a few weeks since my last tales from the potty post and things are progressing, slowly. Leo is continuing to get to grips with all his toilet vocabulary but I still don’t feel ready to take the plunge and say farewell to the nappies and by him a potty.
The no trousers look is a favourite at the moment!

According to lots of different books and websites, there are a list of things your toddler should be doing to show they are ready for toilet training.

Huggies pull ups website say there are 10 signs that your child is ready for potty training..

1. Stays dry for at least two hours
2. Is dry after a nap
3. Is uncomfortable in soiled diapers
4. Shows increased interest in the bathroom
5. Asks to use the toilet or potty chair
6. Has regular and predictable bowel movements
7. Asks to wear Big Kid or “grown up” underwear
8. Uses words or body language when he or she needs to go
9. Follows simple verbal directions
10. Walks to and from the bathroom, helps undress his/herself.
At the moment Leo is only ticking off 4 out of 10 things on this list. He is showing an interest in the toilet, stays dry for quite a while, knows where the toilet is and loves to take his trousers off. 
I am sure it won’t be long before he starts to tell me that he needs the toilet as he always tells me after he has done a poo. I am going to wait a little longer before starting to potty train him as he is clearly still not quite ready. In the next couple of weeks I am going to buy him a potty, just so he can get used to it and maybe give it a try if he wants to. Like I said in my last post, I am not going to push him because I have heard this can slow down the whole process even more.
Are you currently potty training your little one, how are you getting on? I would appreciate any advice you may have. 
To read more from Tales from the Potty click here.

One Lovely Blog Award

I have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award, yay! Before my nomination I had no idea what this award was or it’s history and to be honest, I am still not sure. The origin of this award appears to be some what of a mystery but from what I have read from other blogs, the One Lovely Blog Award is an award nominated to bloggers by other bloggers. The award is a great way to get to know more about your fellow bloggers and to show someone that you enjoy reading their blog.

My nomination comes from Adventures of a Novice Mum. I first met this lovely lady (I can not find your name anywhere, *sigh*) when she wrote a comment on my letter to new breastfeeding mums. I was then asked if I would like to link up with her Breastfeeding&I linky. I enjoy reading Adventures of a Novice Mum, you should go check out this lovely blog. So before we carry on I just want to say a massive thank you for my nonination lovely, it means a lot. Now, back to this here award..

The rules..
* Thank the person who has nominated you and link back to their blog.
* Comment on the post of the person who nominated you.
* Share 7 facts about yourself, it is more fun if they are unknown.
* Nominate 15 blogs you enjoy reading for the award.
* Add the One Lovely Blog Award badge to your post.

7 facts about me…

1. I totally 100% believe in ghosts and my parents house is haunted, I don’t care what anyone else says.
2. I am petrified of birds, especially sea gulls. Walking around Swansea City centre is a very unnerving experience for me, birds are everywhere!
3. I am a sensitive soul, it really doesn’t take much to make me cry
4. I am the queen  of procrastination.
5. I cried for absolutely ages when I discovered I was pregnant, like proper balled my eyes out.
6. I have a first class degree in Media Studies but my dream was to become a vet, I just didn’t have the stomach or brains for it.
7. I am a day dreamer and have a very big imagination – this is both a good and a bad thing!

So there you go, I hope you feel like you know me a little better now :).

My nominations…
I am nominating bloggers who have entertained me and inspired me, people who have made me laugh and made me cry (almost). My nominee’s include lovely people who have taken the time to read and comment on my blog and people who like to link up where I do. Apologies if you have already been nominated, you could always just have a second award post!

1. Jenni  Odd socks and lollipops @babychaos11
2. Beth Twinderelmo @Cinderelmo
3. Lisa Mummascribbles @mummascribbles
4. Sarah Run, Jump, Scrap! @runjumpscrap
5. Stevie A Cornish Mum @stevie_couch
6. Talya Motherhood the Real Deal @motherhoodrealdeal
7.  Harry’s honest mummy My little cheeky Monkey @harryshonestmummy
8. Caro The Twinkle Diaries @twinklediaries
9. Sian Pottymouthed Mummy @pottymouthedmummy
10. Tim Slouching towards Thatcham @thatchamdad
11. Kirsty Something Crunchy Mummy @crunchy_mummy
12. Prabs Absolutely Prabulous @AbPrabulous
13.Emma Brummy Mummy of 2 @brummymummyof2
14. Hannah Cupcake Mumma @cupcakemumma11
15. Kerry All about a mini Norris @amininorrisblog

Let me know when your posts are up, I look forward to learning more about you lovely lot.

Baby feeding rooms – a help or hindrance to breastfeeding mums?

This week is world breastfeeding week, there are lots of different things going on to celebrate, help, encourage and support breastfeeding mums. Although there is an official blog scavenger hunt going on, I thought I would write a post about something that really annoyed me when I was breastfeeding and even now a year on continues to irritate me.

The feeding chair..

Yes, I am talking about that chair. The chair you find in baby change facilities in shops, supermarkets and shopping centres. It makes me mad just looking at it. You might think I have some irrational feelings here but hear me out, please. 
From the very first time I came across one of these chairs, wedged in a corner of a supermarket baby changing room, I have despised it and everything it stands for. This chair is placed in these rooms for one reason and one reason only, for mums to breastfeed their babies. Correct me if I am wrong but I have never met a bottle feeding mum who has felt the need to hide out in a smelly baby change room. All my friends have bottle fed their babies and not once did any of them quietlly slip away to this room to feed their baby. I mean why would they? No one bats an eye lid if you bottle feed your baby in public do they (again correct me if I am wrong)?
I breastfed my son for 10 months and only once I used this chair. Leo was 9 months, we were in the M&S cafe and he was crying for a feed. At the time we were going through the feeding acrobatics stage and my brother was with us and he gets weirded out by breastfeeding. So, going against everything I believed in I took Leo off to the baby changing room for a feed. I sat down on the straight backed, plastic chair, placed inconsiderately close to the toilet and attempted to latch Leo on. I don’t know if it was the smell of other babies poo in the air or the uncomfortable, brightly lit surroundings or something else altogether but Leo refused to feed. He worked himself up into a state and I ended up storming back in to the cafe, told my brother to deal with it and gave Leo his feed. He was so much happier now we were out of that room.
Not exactly comfy looking, is it?
This was my only experience of feeding in one of these rooms and not because I loved feeding in public. In fact, I really didn’t enjoy feeding while out and about, not at the start anyway. I have had what felt like the whole of Costa stare at me while I attempted to feed my screaming newborn. I have had old ladies stare in cafes with odd little smiles on their faces as I fed my baby. I have even had strange men pretending not to look as I latched Leo on while eating out at a local pub. I found the whole breastfeeding around strangers thing really uncomfortable and stressful in those first few months. You may be wondering why I didn’t use these rooms from the start then if I wasn’t confident feeding in public? I didn’t use these rooms because I knew that like most things, breastfeeding in public would get easier in time. I knew I would learn to ignore the stares and not worry about the people around me and guess what, I did learn and it got easier. To be honest, I didn’t want to feed in these rooms because they smell..bad. I know they are cleaned regularly but the smell of a dirty nappy lingers and these rooms see lots of dirty nappies throughout the day. I can just about cope with my own darling childs poo, I don’t want to be sat in a room for what could be half an hour forced to breathe in air carrying the smell of random babies number 2s.
Not the nicest of views..

What upsets me more than anything though is that shops/cafes etc are not honest about why these chairs are there. In many department stores I have noticed that on the door to these baby rooms there is the nappy changing logo and a bottle symbol. A bottle?! Well that is strange *insert shop name here*, you have a lovely little microwave and bottle warmer in your cafe and yet you think parents will be bringing their freshly warmed bottles in here to feed to their babies? I mean, why would they stay in the cafe and enjoy some company and coffee while giving their child a bottle when they could sit, alone in this lovely changing room? Just be honest. That chair is there for breastfeeding mums and some mums may be so grateful for it. Those mums who find feeding in public too stressful are probably glad you provide this. I am not saying all places should get rid of this chair, I am just saying be honest. Stick a breastfeeding symbol on the door as well, there is one in case you didn’t know. The only problem is, put a breastfeeding symbol on the door and you will be admitting that breastfeeding mums should be feeding their children out of sight in a room full of nappies. 
The international symbol for breastfeeding

There are probably many mums out there who strongly disagree. Mum’s who may not have been able to go out if it were not for these facilities or mum’s who prefered feeding in the quiet than surrounded by people. All I am saying is I do no think sticking a chair in a baby changing room is the answer to helping more women feed in public. Yes, it is great it is there for women who need it but it is such a shame that women feel they need it. There were so many occasions where I would change Leo’s nappy and he would then need a feed. Sometimes, I felt as though I was obliged to use the chair as it was there, I was worried staff would frown at me for feeding in cafes when they knew fully well there was a chair waiting in the baby change. I was always envious of friends who bottle fed, not even having to stop to think about what they were doing or if anyone was watching. It looked so easy, why couldn’t feeding my baby be like that? Why can’t we just live in a society where breastfeeding mums don’t have to worry about anyone but their baby and people don’t even think twice if they see you feeding your baby? More needs to be done to help normalise breastfeeding and as a result, boost the confidence of breastfeeding mums. In my opinion, feeding your child in one of these rooms is too much like feeding them in a toilet and we all know that isn’t fair, to mum or to baby.

I really hope everything going on this World Breastfeeding Week helps to make breastfeeding in public a better experience for evveryone.
Do you think baby feeding rooms are a help or hindrance to breastfeeding mums? Do you use them? I would be really interested to find out your opinions.

Brilliant blog posts on

Adventures of a Novice Mum
Mami 2 Five